Industrial Uses of E-Coating

E-coating Services

Electrophoretic painting, more commonly known as e-coating, goes far beyond the standard painting process. Instead of brushing, rolling or spraying paint onto a surface, the e-coating procedure involves immersing the substrate into a liquid medium, typically a black epoxy paint solution. It is then electrified via an opposite polarity electrical charge and deposited onto the part.

When used as an undercoat or primer, e-coating provides a thorough, uniform coating that offers strong adhesion and excellent protection against corrosion. The combination of effectiveness and low cost makes e-coating a preferred painting/coating process in a wide range of industries, particularly automobile manufacturing operations.

E-COATING PROCESS IN A NUTSHELL

A typical e-coating process involves:

  • Cleaning and pre-treating the part, which often involves the application of an inorganic phosphate coating
  • Immersing the part into the bath and introducing a DC current at a voltage ranging from 25 to 400V
  • Rinsing the part to remove any materials that have not been deposited onto the surface
  • Baking the part to crosslink the polymer and provide a smooth and even application

E-COATING DATES BACK TO THE 1930S

E-coating is not a new process; it was used as far back as the 1930s to provide an organic emulsion coating to the inside of steel food containers. However, it wasn’t until the early 1960s that e-coating began to gain widespread use in industrial applications. During this time, scientists at the Ford Motor Company developed and perfected a process for e-coating fully assembled automobile bodies as a means of applying an anti-corrosion primer coat prior to painting.

This ultimately led to Ford’s introduction of the world’s first automotive e-coating tank in 1963. The 1960s also saw the development of durable e-coating processes for industrial applications such as architectural aluminum and the manufacturing of domestic appliances.

E-COATING DATES BACK TO THE 1930S

A significant advancement in e-coating technology occurred in the mid-1970s when cathodic technology replaced anodic as the primary e-coating process used in the automotive industry. Ford, once again, was at the forefront of this development — it installed the first cathodic e-coating tank specifically designed for automotive manufacturing at one of its production facilities. Cathodic e-coating enables the application of a highly effective anti-corrosion treatment simply by maintaining a DC circuit in the bath.

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RECENT E-COATING DEVELOPMENTS

Over the past quarter century, e-coating technology has continued to evolve. Relatively recent advancements include the development of electrodeposition primers consisting of lower voltage organic compounds, improved edge protection and greater resistance to degradation from UV light. In addition to the automotive industry, e-coating is now prominently used in the manufacturing of heavy equipment, electrical components such as switch gear, fasteners and just about any metal product where superior corrosion protection is required.

Sharretts Plating Company offers an innovative e-coating process that can be used for a wide range of industrial applications. Contact SPC to learn more about the benefits e-coating can provide to your operation